"Old Bear loved his Little Cub with all his heart. Little Cub loved Old Bear with all his heart." But each time Old Bear tells Little Cub to do something, his refusal becomes a verbal tug-of-war over who knows best. "Tie your scarf tight around your neck. You might catch cold." "No, I won't." "Yes, you will." "No, I won't!" Little Cub refuses to eat his porridge, be careful at the top of a rock or take a nap. They both fall asleep in a snowy meadow (despite Little Cub's objections), and when Old Bear wakes up, he has a cold. Now Little Cub becomes the admonisher in this lovingly depicted role reversal. The just-right spare text and pencil-and-gouache illustrations are set against spacious white backgrounds that focus readers' attention on subtle expressions (and not-so-subtle ones, such as the amusing glare-off between grizzled, nap-refusing Old Bear and fierce Little Cub) and colorful touches, like Little Cub's red scarf. The adult-child give-and-take in this charming bedtime story will be quite familiar and is bound to bring smiles to both ages. Simplicity at its best. (Picture book. 4-7)Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
In this gently comic picture book about the push-and-pull between parent (or grandparent) and child, Old Bear and Little Cub don't always see eye to eye, although they love each other. At breakfast, Old Bear directs Little Cub to eat all his porridge ("No, I won't," said Little Cub. "Yes, you will," said Old Bear). One more "No, I won't" earns Little Cub a hard stare, followed by Old Bear's desired result. The exchange repeats itself when Little Cub would rather not wear a scarf outside or be careful on a craggy rock. But the tables are turned when Old Bear starts sneezing, and he receives some TLC from the young bear. Dunrea (the Gossie & Friends books) unfolds his action on an ample white background with dashes of color--a stand of evergreens, a cozy blue blanket--and his rosy-cheeked characters command center stage. Old Bear, an imposing mass of shaggy brown fur, sports a scruffy gray muzzle and eyebrows that suggest years of hard-earned wisdom. Little Cub, small enough to be handily tossed in the air or ride on a shoulder, is the perfect playful contrast. Ages 3-8. (Nov.)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
PreS-Gr 1--Steeped in the battle-of-the-wills story tradition of Barbara M. Joosse's Mama, Do you Love Me? (Chronicle, 1991) and Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny (Harper, 1942), comes this elegant, innovative parent-and-child story. On a winter's day, Little Cub playfully retorts that no, he won't tighten his scarf, or be careful on the cliff, until Old Bear "stares hard," which is enough for him to do all that he is told. Then Old Bear's worrisome cough shifts the narrative pattern and, surprisingly, it is he who won't have tea, or rest once they return home. "Old Bear loved Little Cub with all his heart/Little Cub loved Old Bear with all his heart." The dual voices work to show that the youngster's love is just as deeply expressed as the adult's. The depth of caring resonates in the orderliness and unwavering pattern of the text-on-left and picture-on-right layout. The lightly rendered illustrations are held as if on a cloud, in ample white reminiscent of Bruce Whatley's work, but more serene, heightening the attentiveness of the loving relationship. These unique, folk-art inspired vignettes, with two-dimensional décor made very white with gouache and balanced with earthy tones in watercolor pencil, evoke the freshness and visual perfection of newly fallen snow. Children will chuckle at Old Bear's long white whiskers and wonder at the row of icicles that hang from the snow-frosted A-frame of their hut. A winter story to be savored by all.--Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City[Page 68]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.